Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (photo: AFP/STR)
The Malaysian government has strongly censured Archbishop Joseph Marino, the Apsotolic Nuncio of the Vatican to Malaysia, for not observing established diplomatic protocols and interefering in the affairs of the country.
In a strongly worded statement late this evening, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia does not welcome foreign interference or influence on the sensitive matter of the usage of the word "Allah".
This is the statement in full:
"The government's decision to establish diplomatic relations with the Vatican was in recognition of the importance of cultural and religious dialogue to promote friendship and harmony. The Vatican, however, like any foreign mission, is required to observe the established diplomatic protocols, which among others, require them not to interfere in the domestic affairs of the host country. It is regrettable that the Vatican mission head HE Joseph Marino, the Apostolic Nuncio of the Vatican to Malaysia has done otherwise.
The matter (usage of the word "ALLAH") is currently being heard at the Court of Appeal and all parties should let the case be determined according to rule of law of the country. As a sovereign country, Malaysia does not welcome foreign interference or influence on this sensitive issue. Such interference will only stoke religious sentiments in the country and is not helpful in contributing towards ensuring racial and religious stabliity and harmony in Malaysia."
Source: TheEdge Malaysia